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Old 03-17-2019, 12:12 PM
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Who has made the most $ with the least talent?


Not inherited or thru marriage.

Got to thinking about this, hearing about Olivia Jade - the actress' daughter involved in this college admission scandal. Apparently making serious coin as a "social media influencer." I guess that - or the activities of the Kardashians - might require a "talent"for "self promotion" or something. So I guess we might debate what constitutes "talent."

I've long thought that actor Rupert Grint (sp?) the luckiest SOB around, for having lucked into the HP franchise due to his hair color!

I'd suggest a number of rap/hiphop artists, but I guess that gets to taste. And I thought models simply won the genetic lottery, but have to admit success at modeling involves something more than just being pretty.
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:24 PM
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Yoko Ono
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:46 PM
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Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, et al: anyone who does nothing but be “provocative”.

They’re not funny, not insightful, not even interesting in an ironic way. They just do... nothing. They add nothing to the world. They have no actual skills.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:02 PM
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Not inherited or thru marriage.

Got to thinking about this, hearing about Olivia Jade - the actress' daughter involved in this college admission scandal. Apparently making serious coin as a "social media influencer." I guess that - or the activities of the Kardashians - might require a "talent"for "self promotion" or something. So I guess we might debate what constitutes "talent."

I've long thought that actor Rupert Grint (sp?) the luckiest SOB around, for having lucked into the HP franchise due to his hair color!

I'd suggest a number of rap/hiphop artists, but I guess that gets to taste. And I thought models simply won the genetic lottery, but have to admit success at modeling involves something more than just being pretty.
I'll agree with you about the Kardashians. I'd put Paris Hilton in the same group as well. Basically anyone who is "famous for being famous."
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:13 PM
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Geez, where to start?
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:13 PM
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The Kardashians
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:20 PM
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Rupert Grint is a talented actor. Unless you count all actors, it isn't him.

It's probably a Kardashian.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:31 PM
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Rupert Grint is a talented actor.
Hmm - he sure didn't show it in the HP films!
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:53 PM
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Sure he did. He did a perfectly good job and acted exactly the way Ron Weasley is described n the books. Nailed it. Does a great job in whatever else he's in too. He was great in Sick Note. Everything thinks acting is soooo easy. It's not; 99.9% of all people would make Rupert Grint look like Daniel Day-Lewis.

The thing about acting is that it's a Darwinian thing. Many, many other young actors tried out to be Ron Weasley and were found wanting. Grint had to compete for his role in Snatch, Sick Note, etc. etc. If you're no good, they hire someone else. Even people not really hired for acting ability have to bring something else to the table, like martial arts skills (Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee, Jean-Claude Van Damme - and JCVD has some serious comedy chops) or just a lot of charisma, like Arnold.

The Kardashian phenomenon, though, really isn't a matter of acting ability. It's sheer marketing of... I dunno, something.

That said, it occurred to me there might be someone who's gotten really rich from an invention who wasn't really much of an inventor or a scientist, but got stupidly lucky.

Silly Bandz, for instance. They're rubber bracelets kids wear. Cheap toy bracelets are old hat but, as it happens, Silly Bandz was the brand that took off. The guy who started selling them, Robert Croak, got ludicrously rich; it was simply a lottery win, nothing more. Croak might have other talents but his personal wealth is 99.99% Silly Bandz.
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Old 03-17-2019, 01:55 PM
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William Hung somehow made over $1.5 million dollars solely on the basis he had no talent.
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Old 03-17-2019, 02:39 PM
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Howard Stern, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, et al: anyone who does nothing but be “provocative”.

They’re not funny, not insightful, not even interesting in an ironic way. They just do... nothing. They add nothing to the world. They have no actual skills.
It's harder than you think to respond to other people's thoughts in an articulate way. Talk show hosts have to have the ability to come up with coherent responses to caller after caller after caller with very little time to think about what they're going to say. A poster on a message board has the luxury of taking as much time as he wants to compose, write, edit, and re-edit. Talk show hosts have to respond on the fly. You may not like what they do with their skill, but they most assuredly have one.
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:34 PM
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It's harder than you think to respond to other people's thoughts in an articulate way. Talk show hosts have to have the ability to come up with coherent responses to caller after caller after caller with very little time to think about what they're going to say. A poster on a message board has the luxury of taking as much time as he wants to compose, write, edit, and re-edit. Talk show hosts have to respond on the fly. You may not like what they do with their skill, but they most assuredly have one.
I wouldn't equate being able to construct a sentence about farting (Stern) with "articulate".

I wouldn't call agreeing with callers' nonsensical racism and conspiracy theories (Limbaugh and the like) "coherent".

All they have is the dubious ability to not care that they are spewing nonsense. That's not a skill, IMHO. If they make ten cents doing it, they are overpaid.
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:57 PM
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I wouldn't equate being able to construct a sentence about farting (Stern) with "articulate".

I wouldn't call agreeing with callers' nonsensical racism and conspiracy theories (Limbaugh and the like) "coherent".

All they have is the dubious ability to not care that they are spewing nonsense. That's not a skill, IMHO. If they make ten cents doing it, they are overpaid.
Sorry, but they are talented. Not the kind of talent many people may like or find useful, but they do not just spout nonsense, all three of them carefully calculate what kind of nonsense will make them the most money. Especially Stern who had to come up with original material all the time. Limbaugh and Coulter mainly regurgitate the same old liberal hating pap and provide it to the dumbest among people, old racists, bigots, and other hateful scum. Stern's audience will surprise you though, primarily married, college educated professionals earning over $100,000 a year.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:14 PM
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I saw on a gas station tv that Kylie Jenner is the "world's youngest self-made billionaire"

Lol
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:27 PM
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Madonna.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:29 PM
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:33 PM
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:50 PM
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Yoko Ono
Had she not married John she wouldn't have made most of her money - certainly not the inherited money she sits on now.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:52 PM
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Had she not married John she wouldn't have made most of her money - certainly not the inherited money she sits on now.
There are plenty of less talented people with a lot of money also.
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Old 03-17-2019, 04:56 PM
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I wouldn't equate being able to construct a sentence about farting (Stern) with "articulate".

I wouldn't call agreeing with callers' nonsensical racism and conspiracy theories (Limbaugh and the like) "coherent".

All they have is the dubious ability to not care that they are spewing nonsense. That's not a skill, IMHO. If they make ten cents doing it, they are overpaid.
I’ll go out on a limb here and wager you haven’t actually listened to Howard Stern. He isn’t always for me, but he is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, interviewers of our time. And while you might not find him funny, (and I find stretches of his program not funny, either) that doesn’t mean he isn’t funny. The idea that he is not possessed of talent is ridiculous.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:11 PM
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Zsa Zsa Gabor had stunning good looks, a relatively charming personality, and very little acting talent. She married nine times and joked that every time she got divorced, she kept the house. She died at 99, so she might have outlived her fortune, but she was doing well for quite some time.

Prince Phillip got further with probably less going for him, but I think most of the assets are in his wife's name.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:13 PM
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To continue the hijack about radio personalities like Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh, many of them have programs that last two or three hours, and during much of that time, they're talking. it's really not that easy to be entertaining for that long, and to do it night after night. (Note that I don't listen to these programs but people do, and they keep them on for an hour or two. Something in what or how they talk clearly appeals to a lot of people.)
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:40 PM
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:46 PM
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There are plenty of less talented people with a lot of money also.
Surely; but Yoko's not an example of what the OP is looking for, was my point.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:49 PM
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Madonna.
One of the more ridiculous answers. You may not like her music, but she is a talented singer and is extremely talented at getting attention.

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L Ron Hubbard
Hubbard was extremely talented at scamming the rubes.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:50 PM
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Also not an example of what the OP is looking for.
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Old 03-17-2019, 05:59 PM
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I nominate the woman in South Carolina who recently won $877,784,124 (lump sum, and also, I believe, before taxes) in the lottery, who did nothing more talented than buying a ticket "on a whim" -- this despite the fact that any intelligent person knows that lotteries are a "fool's bet" which is (except, of course, this time) just throwing away your hard earned money.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:16 PM
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Was Jimmy Durante at least a good comedian? Watching Mr. Lucky shows he's a terrible actor and a pretty bad singer.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:37 PM
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I'm going to go with someone most people wouldn't even think of: Ralph Lauren.

He was the first, if I'm not mistaken, to basically cash in on the selling of a logo. I'm pretty sure most of his money came from the sales of shirts that were in NO way any better than an identical shirt for half the price, other than having his logo on them. It's not like I think his clothes are BAD. They're not; I've owned plenty of them. But they're unbelievably bland. Any company with the equipment to produce garments could make virtually anything in the history of Ralph Lauren's catalog.

He brought nothing new to the table except for that logo. His net worth is 6.9 billion. That's a LOT of money for being the purveyor of such a mediocre product.

I have to give him some credit for having a legendary collection of cars, though.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:38 PM
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Was Jimmy Durante at least a good comedian? Watching Mr. Lucky shows he's a terrible actor and a pretty bad singer.
Durante was a vaudevillian and his comedy (and singing) were extremely popular. He wasn't a technically good singer, but knew how to sell a song and was very entertaining.

Not a particularly good actor, since he was only playing his vaudeville shtick.


L. Ron Hubbard was a prolific and successful writer before going off on Dianetics. How successful is hard to say, since his followers call him a major writer of the 40s, while others just call him a hack (which he was, though a very successful one). Looking at his ISFDB entry (and paying attention to his work before 1950, when he started Dianetics). Two stories, "Fear" and "Typewriter in the Sky" are considered classics in the field and he was a regular in for John Campbell in the 40s, along with Asimov, Heinlein, and Van Vogt.

Rupert Grint is excellent in the dark comedy Sick Note (on Netflix).
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:38 PM
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Some conceptual artists. like for instance Niele Toroni, who spent his life making "imprints of a n. 50 brush" that is small squares regularly spaced on a white background. His "paintings" sell for a fortune. Or this other guy whose name escapes me who sell concepts like "25 cm blue square on a white background". I said "sell concepts" rather than "paints" because if you want one of his paintings, you select the concept on a catalogue, do it yourself, pay him and he sends you a certificate of authenticity. Not as costly as Toroni, but not cheap, either.
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Old 03-17-2019, 06:58 PM
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Surely; but Yoko's not an example of what the OP is looking for, was my point.
You're right. When I posted her name I figured she supposedly was already a successful artist when she met John. But I forgot about the "made the most $" qualifier, and since John was very obviously the reason for whatever big-time success she had, I respectfully withdraw her name.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:00 PM
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Was Jimmy Durante at least a good comedian? Watching Mr. Lucky shows he's a terrible actor and a pretty bad singer.
Jimmy Durante was a very talented self-taught pianist - he was in one of the first white bands to record jazz music.

But he did a brilliant job of creating the persona of a comically unsophisticated schlep, sort of like Jack Benny being known as a vain tightwad, or Dean Martin a drunk.

Bennett Cerf once described Durante conversing with a society lady about his recent trip to Europe.

"Dat day in Rome was fanTAStic!", he beamed.

"How could you possibly do Rome justice in one day?", the lady replied.

Durante sheepishly admitted, "Actually, I dint know what to do in the aftanoon".

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Old 03-17-2019, 07:12 PM
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To continue the hijack about radio personalities like Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh, many of them have programs that last two or three hours, and during much of that time, they're talking. it's really not that easy to be entertaining for that long, and to do it night after night. (Note that I don't listen to these programs but people do, and they keep them on for an hour or two. Something in what or how they talk clearly appeals to a lot of people.)
I think the people criticizing Stern and Limbaugh really need to listen to the attempts others have made to emulate them and failed. They both are extremely charismatic and are naturally quick-witted; there is hardly ever any dead air on their shows. As someone who is neither charismatic and quick-witted I definitely can tell you it takes some level of talent for what they do so I don't think either of them would qualify for this list.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:16 PM
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As a pro wrestling fan I'd nominate Sid Vicious(the wrestler not the musician) to this list. He was 6 feet 8 inches and weighed 300 pounds; he had the stereo-typical heavy muscled bodybuilder that a lot of wrestling promoters liked. Except he couldn't cut a promo and he had very limited in-ring ability.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:18 PM
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I'm going to go with someone most people wouldn't even think of: Ralph Lauren.

He was the first, if I'm not mistaken, to basically cash in on the selling of a logo.
I think that honor goes to Lacoste.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:37 PM
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Also not an example of what the OP is looking for.
Not sure why. He allegedly wrote Altair BASIC in a day and a half, though I am skeptical. His primary skill has been as a huckster who had a major lucky turn. I am not seeing much in the way of real talent anywhere near proportional to his wealth. Steve Jobs may have been slightly more talented, but mostly as a showman.
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Old 03-17-2019, 07:42 PM
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Mary Kate and Ashley Olson.They got their start on a bad sitcom when they were still babies. No talent needed. Their franchise was developed by savvy managers before they were old enough to spell "franchise." Today they're worth over $400 million.
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Old 03-17-2019, 08:29 PM
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Bob Kane, "inventor" of Batman. IIRC only really created the concept of Batman, Bill Finger and an army of ghost writers were responsible for making him the iconic image we have today off Batman. Pretty much after the first six months of the first comic run all Kane did from then on was just market and take credit for others work. Still made him tens of millions of dollars.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:09 PM
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As a pro wrestling fan I'd nominate Sid Vicious(the wrestler not the musician) to this list. He was 6 feet 8 inches and weighed 300 pounds; he had the stereo-typical heavy muscled bodybuilder that a lot of wrestling promoters liked. Except he couldn't cut a promo and he had very limited in-ring ability.
He did pretty much suck. He's not the only no talent wrestler ever but he did make some decent money simply based on his appearance.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:12 PM
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Mary Kate and Ashley Olson.They got their start on a bad sitcom when they were still babies. No talent needed. Their franchise was developed by savvy managers before they were old enough to spell "franchise." Today they're worth over $400 million.
You may have found the winner. They did absolutely nothing but exist to make that money.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:29 PM
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You may have found the winner. They did absolutely nothing but exist to make that money.
Kylie Jenner - Somehow at 21 she has become the world's youngest billionaire by leveraging her Kardashian-ness to build a cosmetics business, fashion line and mobile app. Other than being followed on social media, did she provide any specific "talent" used to develop any of these enterprises? Or am I to understand she is Eugène Paul Louis Schueller (founder of L'Oreal), Donna Karen and Mark Zuckerberg all rolled into one?
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:39 PM
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Honey Boo Boo's mother.
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Old 03-17-2019, 09:57 PM
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Here to second the motion that Stern is a HUGE talent and worth every penny he has earned. Millions upon millions of people have listened to his show over the last, what, 40 years. And if people weren't being entertained by him, he wouldn't on the air. Sure he has plenty of haters, but these are people who never became regular listeners or even never hear the show at all. Howard and his millions of listeners through the years don't care about these people. They are free to turn the dial and listen to some wannabe.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:01 PM
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Kylie Jenner - Somehow at 21 she has become the world's youngest billionaire by leveraging her Kardashian-ness to build a cosmetics business, fashion line and mobile app. Other than being followed on social media, did she provide any specific "talent" used to develop any of these enterprises? Or am I to understand she is Eugène Paul Louis Schueller (founder of L'Oreal), Donna Karen and Mark Zuckerberg all rolled into one?
She knew how to talk when she started making money.
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:53 PM
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William Hung somehow made over $1.5 million dollars solely on the basis he had no talent.


I thought of him too.

With just a touch more effort he could have had his name on some product line or another. A William hung clothing line or workout video could have netted him a few more bucks.
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Old 03-17-2019, 11:22 PM
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Not sure why. He allegedly wrote Altair BASIC in a day and a half, though I am skeptical. His primary skill has been as a huckster who had a major lucky turn. I am not seeing much in the way of real talent anywhere near proportional to his wealth. Steve Jobs may have been slightly more talented, but mostly as a showman.
Bill Gates was very talented at business. He pretty much kicked everyone's ass in the PC software business. Lots of other people were creating better products, and yet he still won.
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Old 03-18-2019, 12:00 AM
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Not sure why. He allegedly wrote Altair BASIC in a day and a half, though I am skeptical. His primary skill has been as a huckster who had a major lucky turn. I am not seeing much in the way of real talent anywhere near proportional to his wealth. Steve Jobs may have been slightly more talented, but mostly as a showman.
Sorry, this is an absurd characterization of Gates' career, or that of Jobs. Try to give a serious answer rather than just dissing people because you don't like them.

Last edited by Colibri; 03-18-2019 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:29 AM
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From Celebritynetworth.com:


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Carrot Top is an American comedian and actor who has a net worth of $75 million.
Mods: you can close the thread, it's been answered.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:13 AM
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I'm going with John Travolta. He is an extremely poor actor and dancer, but his pretty boy looks and reasonable singing voice made him a movie star. Twice.
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